On Saturday, February 9th, STEER for Student Athletes hosted a Social Media Awareness Workshop at Palisade Preparatory School. This program-wide workshop brought together STEER student-athletes from five schools and five different grade levels to learn about social media competencies that will help them to better present themselves skills as student-athletes.
The workshop began with a group activity that allowed the student-athletes to reflect on their current social media habits. Some of the topics discussed among the groups included favorite social media platforms, why and how much time they spend online, and the positive and negative effects of social media.
Following this activity, Billy McBride, Assistant Athletic Director and Diversity Inclusion Director at Amherst College, spoke to the student-athletes about his sports career and the role that social media plays today in the college recruiting process. McBride emphasized the importance of being a “wholistic” student-athlete and urged the students to think about their interests and career goals outside of their sport. Angel Leon, a sophomore baseball player at Careers in Sports High School said, “A best practice I learned from Billy McBride is to think before I post. As he stated, once you post something online it is there forever. If I post without thinking it might seriously harm me in the long run.”
The second featured speaker was Eduardo Gonzalez, CEO and founder of the social media brand Classysavant LLC. Gonzalez spoke about his experiences growing up in Port Chester, and how he became a social media entrepreneur based on his hobbies and interests. Throughout his presentation, Gonzalez repeatedly asked the student-athletes, “Who is on your team?” Gonzalez emphasized the importance of networking and building support networks around you, assuring our student-athletes that asking for help is okay and can create countless opportunities.
The workshop ended with lunch and allowed the student-athletes to approach both McBride and Gonzalez to connect and ask questions about their personal goals. Carolina Juarez, a freshman swimmer at Palisade Preparatory High, says “I now know that social media acts like another resume so I should be proud of everything I post.” The STEER student-athletes left the workshop feeling prepared and motivated to showcase their best selves online.
STEER for Student Athletes’ Advisory Council For Empowering Girls held its second event at Hour to Exit Escape Games in New Rochelle, NY. The Advisory Council provides STEER with advice and perspectives on the unique issues related to empowering girls through sports engagement. This workshop focused on developing teamwork skills and best practices that the student-athletes can directly apply to their respective sports and academic settings.
This team building event brought together STEER female student-athletes across grades 8-12 from four different schools. The STEER student-athletes were divided into two groups and given an hour to solve their escape room. Both groups were paired with a volunteer from the Purchase College softball team who was in charge of facilitating the escape room experience by suggesting teamwork strategies to the girls. Shawna Smith, a sophomore on the Purchase softball team, told the STEER student-athletes, “Teamwork is not being better than your teammates, it’s making each other better.”
After the hour in the escape room, the student-athletes regrouped to reflect on their experience. The student-athletes discussed the positive contributions each member made to the team, the areas in which the team can improve in the future, and lastly, what they learned about teamwork. A resonating takeaway for the STEER student-athletes was understanding the value of different perspectives when it comes to reaching the same goal, in this case solving the escape room. Denika Foster, a Careers in Sports High School senior says, “Everyone has their own specialty and everyone can make a contribution to the team.” The event ended with lunch and gave the STEER student-athletes the opportunity to chat with the Purchase College volunteers about various aspect of college life. The volunteers answered a variety of questions including how to navigate the college application and recruitment process, time management strategies, and their daily experiences on a college sports team.
In order to ensure the continued success of STEER, the organization depends heavily on its community to stay active and involved in the development of our youth. In specific, corporations, individual donors, and motivated empowered volunteers and individuals within our community are essential to the enrichment of our programming and the lives of our student-athletes. Together we can make impactful change one student-athlete at a time. If you are interested in being a vehicle of change, please contact April Uhl, Student Support Administrator at email@example.com to learn more about volunteer and donation opportunities.